Torah Crown

Torah Crown thumbnail 1
Torah Crown thumbnail 2
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images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 83, The Whiteley Galleries

This magnificent jewelled crown is probably from the court of the Hassidic leader Rabbi Israel Ruzhin (1797-1850). Hassidic Judaism originated in eastern Europe in the 18th century. The small size of the crown suggests that it was made for a personal Torah scroll.

Central to Jewish observance is the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. The scroll on which the Torah is written is wound on rollers called 'Trees of Life' ('Atzei Hayyim'). It is customary to decorate the rollers with either a crown or a pair of rimmonim. The crown symbolises majesty and the law of Torah. The rimmonim evoke the bells worn on the high priest's robe as described in the Book of Exodus.

This ornate ritual object is an important part of Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert's collection. Arthur Gilbert's family, the Bernsteins, were successful Jewish immigrants, who had moved to London from Poland in the 1890s.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Crown
  • Case
  • Case
Brief Description
Gold and silver Torah crown, with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, amethysts, and turquoises, Vienna, ca. 1825.
Dimensions
  • Height: 18.2cm
  • Width: 12.5cm
  • Base diameter: 7.8cm
  • Weight: 340g
  • Diameter: 13cm ([largest section])
Credit line
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum London
Object history
Provenance: By tradition Rabbi Israel Freidman (1797-1850), Ruzhin, Imperial Russia (present Ukraine), and later Sadgora, Austro-Hungary (present Ukraine); thence by descent; Sotheby's, New York, 16 March 1999, lot 327.
Production
Ex cat.
Summary
This magnificent jewelled crown is probably from the court of the Hassidic leader Rabbi Israel Ruzhin (1797-1850). Hassidic Judaism originated in eastern Europe in the 18th century. The small size of the crown suggests that it was made for a personal Torah scroll.



Central to Jewish observance is the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. The scroll on which the Torah is written is wound on rollers called 'Trees of Life' ('Atzei Hayyim'). It is customary to decorate the rollers with either a crown or a pair of rimmonim. The crown symbolises majesty and the law of Torah. The rimmonim evoke the bells worn on the high priest's robe as described in the Book of Exodus.



This ornate ritual object is an important part of Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert's collection. Arthur Gilbert's family, the Bernsteins, were successful Jewish immigrants, who had moved to London from Poland in the 1890s.



Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.
Bibliographic Reference
Dazzling Desire. How human desires manifest themselves as diamonds. Catalogue of the exhibition at MAS I Museum aan de Stroom, Antwerp, 18 October 2017 to 14 January 2018. Antwerp: MAS Books, 2017. ISBN 9789085867531
Other Numbers
  • SG 348 - Arthur Gilbert Number
  • SG 322 - Arthur Gilbert Number
  • 1999.25 - The Gilbert Collection, Somerset House
  • GTA
Collection
Accession Number
LOAN:GILBERT.68:1, 2-2008

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record createdJune 26, 2008
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